06 March 2015

FBF: 365 days

About this time last year, I was finalizing my plan to run 12 distance races in 12 months and train over 1200 miles to raise awareness and funds for the Semper Fi Fund and MARSOC Foundation. I was nervous, had trepidation about my capabilities to run that far, and no real strategy on how I was going to accomplish my goal but I had the desire to go for it, anyway.

365 days later, and I have made it through a broken ankle (late March), Achilles tendonitis (June-July), a torn calf muscle (October) and a peroneal tendon strain (January-February) and have raced in 10 distance races for over 304 miles. (Race miles don't count toward the 1200-mile total, by the way.)

I have two races left and 140.69 training miles to complete to reach 1200. Although I started this endeavor the day before the Boston Marathon in April, my race calendar won't allow me to garner any mileage in April, so those 140+ miles will be happening over the course of the next 25 days (with my March race - the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Half-Marathon - happening in just over two weeks).

I know I have spoken about them before, but below are some of the people to whom my gratitude is forever given, for their friendship, mentorship, inspiration and their assistance.

Lisa Smith-Batchen: Giving, inspiring and always thoughtful. She never stops striving forward and is one of the kindest and toughest people I've ever had the privilege to know. Both she and her amazing husband, Jay, have been instrumental in getting me to the starting line of not only the Yellowstone-Teton 50-miler but also to Marathon des Sables. Many blessings have come my way through our friendship.
Lisa & Jay at a race in the Tetons
Mosi Smith: A fellow Marine, a highly accomplished ultra-runner, a Semper Fi Fund community athlete and the better half of the two-person team that is the 12for12for1200 Marathon des Sables team. We'll be in the desert together, hoofing it for 150-miles with our rucksacks.

Mosi on the far left, at the Endless Summer Six-Hour run in July in Annapolis. I'm rockin' the sandals and socks look in the middle. 
Alex Papadopoulos: I met him when I signed up for the Athletic Equation 24-hr Adventure Trail Race, which kicked off my 12 race campaign. Not only did he ask me to speak at the pre-race dinner, he has helped support my fundraising campaign since then. I became such a fan of Alex and the AEI race series that I signed up for their ICY-8 Hour Trail Run for my February race. He's all about the racers and their experience and helping them achieve their goals. 

Alex on the left, on the course of the 24-ATR, which was my first race last May, right outside the gates of USMC HQ in Quantico (Prince William State Park). 
My friends and fellow runners of the Wilmington Road Runners, the guys from the Road Warriors, the staff at both the Semper Fi Fund and MARSOC Foundation and Michelle Fogle at Fleet Feet. And a big thank you to those folks who've followed my adventures on Twitter and have offered words of encouragement, retweets and advice along the way - talkin' 'bout you @ReadEatWriteRun, @Empowlr, @DizRuns, @RWTish, @RunningLonely, @TaiFung & @MidpackBiped, among many others!

We don't accomplish anything alone, there are always those who usher us forth, some harshly ('cause what's life without hard lessons?) and some with love and care. I am grateful that I have had the care and support of these people over the past year. Almost there.

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